In a portrait, we are able to examine a person, to know them, and they become the main subject of our gaze. However, when we are kept at a slight distance, shown only a back, or a small figure, we take the person in as part of a whole. We cannot dwell on their particularities or details. Rather, they act as silent ushers, inviting us to dwell briefly in their mysterious world.
Figures tell us how to think about the space; they are dreamlike narrators with unsearchable identities. We’re not able to examine them closely, but we are able to stand beside them and take in the landscape from their point of view.
Guiding us through unfamiliar territory, figures give us permission to experience emotions. They tell us it’s okay to feel lonely here, or you can go ahead and resurrect that memory, because I’m there too. Once we begin looking at subjects this way, even animals or objects can become our guides. We may only come this close to them, but they will take us further in.
Lisa Berry was born in Indiana in 1982. She received a BFA in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI in 2004. She moved to Bloomington, Indiana in 2008 where she continues to make pictures. She is currently the curator of photography at Pictura Gallery.
BFA, Photography, Rhode Island School of Design, 2004
2009 This Close That Far, Half/Dozen Gallery, Portland, OR
2007 New Work, Hosmer Gallery, Northampton MA
2004 In Communion, Red Eye Gallery, Providence RI
Selected Group Shows
2011 Keep ‘em Coming: A Gallery Group Show, Half/Dozen Gallery, Portland, OR
2010 FOG: A Spring Group Show, Half/Dozen Gallery, Portland, OR
2009 Art Club, Half/Dozen Gallery, Portland, OR
2008 Winter Exhibition, Pictura Gallery, Bloomington IN
2008 NSAL, Rosemary P. Miller Gallery, Bloomington IN
2006 The Mountain and the Garden, A.P.E. Northampton MA
2004 Photography Biennial, Woods-Gerry, Providence RI